Sunday, October 28, 2012

Horror Hill 6 Hour Trail Race- Oct. 28, 2012

 3rd Ultra in the past 4 weeks is in the books.   Did the Horror Hill 6 Hour Trail race yesterday.  Way back in 2007 I did the HH 15K road race.  I remember at the time thinking that the folks running around a 2.5K loop for 6 hours were not playing with a full deck.  Fast forward 5 years and add one more Ultra nut to the loop!

 The week before the race I was pleasantly surprised that Grant  ( local running friend ) who had been injured for the first half of the year had signed up for the 6 hour race.   I was happy to have someone to ride with but a little concerned that Grant had bit off a little more then he should at this point in his recovery.  We headed out from his house at 06:00 am and arrived at the race at around 07:30 well before the 09:00 am start which meant a prime parking spot right on the course.  Now the day was all about the weather.  We were expecting temps around 6-7C with lots of rain and a bit of wind.   I saw this as a really good opportunity to try to get comfortable in less then perfect conditions.  I started out with my "thermal" long sleeve compression shirt, shell,  shorts, gloves, compression toque, ball cap, Injinjji Toes socks and my Saucony Xodus Gor-Tex shoes.

 I wasn't into the race at the 09:00am start.   It was raining and I  had allot of trepidation about the conditions over the next 6 hours.   There was lots of chatter on the course as to how the conditions would deteriorate as the race progressed.  The only equipment change I made early on was loosing the compression cap leaving the Ball Cap on protecting me from the constant rain.    In the early stages I was also contemplating whether 50K would be possible in the allotted time.  Passed the 10K mark with the clock showing 1:11:04  .  Doing the math it meant I had to maintain pace over the next 5 hours  which seemed highly unlikely as the course was becoming quite slick.    I started gelling and taking my "S Caps" and more or less did so through the next 5 hours.    Passing 20K the clock read 2:18:47 .   I had picked up the pace a bit but I was not enjoying being out in the rain and the cold and was not all that comfortable with nearly 4 hours remaining.   This was also the point in the race that things started to turn around for me.  Conditions continued to worsen but I was able to pick up the pace passing 30K at 3:26:57.   My thoughts often turned to my upcoming Creemore 100 miler Dec 1/2.  If its going to be above freezing and wet the conditions in Dec would be very close to what I was running in today.   I hoped that Creemore weather would be below freezing giving me an opportunity to be allot more dryer.   I don't have any running stuff that is truly waterproof.  The thermal compression shirt with the shell was all about keeping the warm wet in and the cold wet out and I was wet to the bone!    The Gortex Xodus Shoes were performing amazingly.  First they had fantastic traction ,  my feet were comfortable .... no pain at all and wearing the toe socks made a huge difference.  Now the feet were anything but dry and I continue to be dismayed that they advertise " guaranteed to keep you dry".  There is no shoe ever made that would keep my feet dry in the conditions I was running in.   Passing 30K is  when I really find out what kind of day its going to be.   Other then a bit of muscle pain I was feeling good and still moving along at a consistent pace.  This was also the point of the race where I started to catch up and even loop people that were way out in front of me.   Passed the 40K mark in 4:36:48.  Doing the math I realized that I was still holding pace in spite of the ever worsening conditions.  I also realized that unless I blew up 50K was in the bag and I was also thinking about how far beyond that point I would be able to go before the 6hour mark.   I was surprised at how comfortable I was ,  it was 6-7C ,  rain ,  wind ,  muck.muck.muck and more muck.  I was soaked but comfortably warm ,  my feet felt great and I was motivated!   So I kept pushing and crossed the 50K mark in 5:46:35.  I was amazed at the fact that I didn't fall off pace and was over a minutes faster then the first 10K of the day!   Legged it out for another 13min25 sec adding another 1.7K to my total before the 6 hour horn blew. 

 I was thrilled with how the day went ,  buy far my most solid Ultra of 2012.   I quickly washed the mud off ,  put all my mucky wet stuff into a garbage bag and then changed into a few layers of dry clothes.   Beer and Chilly were next ...mmmm so good! 

 It was a small race with 35 starting the 6 hour event ,  9 in my age group 50+.   I figured that with the day I had I would probably be in line for an AG award.  To my pleasant surprise I ends up being first in the 50+ category.  I was thrilled as I had never one an AG category before.   Overall I placed 8th out of 35 participants and I was 7th out of 25 men.  This was  the second 6 hour Trail Ulta  I have done and a PB by 4.2K. 

 I walk away from this race confident that I can face the elements in Creemore and successfully complete  the 100 mile winter run.  

Splits ...
1: 17:27 17:27
2: 17:54 35:21
3: 17:37 52:57
4: 18:07 1:11:04   10K
5: 16:48 1:27:51
6: 17:37 1:45:28
7: 16:25 2:01:52
8: 16:55 2:18:47   20K
9: 17:12 2:35:58
10: 16:47 2:52:44
11: 17:32 3:10:16
12: 16:41 3:26:57   30K
13: 16:38 3:43:34
14: 17:35 4:01:08
15: 18:07 4:19:14
16: 17:35 4:36:48  40K
17: 17:16 4:54:04
18: 17:55 5:11:58
19: 17:22 5:29:19
20: 17:17 5:46:35  50K
21 made it another 1.7 k before the 6hour mark

1 comment:

Janice said...

Congratulations. We were going to come to Horror Hill with Leandra doing the 10km distance, but she ended up in a cross-country meet instead in London. It was cold, rainy and slippery there as well! Hopefully, I'll get to Horror Hill next year. Awesome speed:)